Future Friday Walker Kessler and Tari Eason Show Transcription

[00:00:00] Dustin: all right, everybody. Welcome to the 278th edition of the holy Blackboard podcast. I am Dustin here in rip city and I got my man

[00:00:18] Dillon Sage: page 11, direct going to talk about this game with three real deal prospects that all burned. Versus the LSU tigers and rest in peace to the YouTube channel that we watch.

[00:00:31] Most of our games on this is going to be a lot different, a lot more difficult to really provide, uh, you know, these tanks because you know, a full game is much different than a, a condensed game. We’ll probably have to watch on Matthew loves ball, but rest in peace to draft Omatic on YouTube. I looked on on Twitter and people like that are doing scouting stuff.

[00:00:56] Just like us are heartbroken for the fact that there [00:01:00] are no quality consistent, full games of NCAA basketball. So rest in peace to that. You’ve.

[00:01:08] Dustin: Uh, it was a big help because one E there, there are so many college basketball teams and they play sometimes on channels. You don’t get, sometimes they play during work hours, especially if you’re watching an sec school, like, like we are, and they play like 30 to 40 games a season.

[00:01:27] So it’s, it’s hard to really like watch every single game or be right in front of your television set every single time. Like, I don’t have the benefit of a DVR. So being able, just to go on YouTube and find what I want and watch it and pause it. It’s so invaluable. So hopefully another channel will pop up in its, its absence, or maybe they’ll come back under a new handle, which I’ve seen other channels that I like do, um, from time to time.

[00:01:55] But I really focused on Walker Kessler. And [00:02:00] so I’ll do, um, I got his. I got his background. So you knew how w for our listeners of the future Friday, we usually give a bio quick synopsis of the player and how they’re doing this year. So Walker Kessler plays for Auburn university 71, 245 pounds, 20 years.

[00:02:21] He’ll be 21. Um, shortly after the draft, um, from Newnan, Georgia, you as a five star center by rivals in the class of 2020, the number 24 player overall, nationally at the time coming out of high school, he chose North Carolina over Auburn, Cal duke in Georgia. He did transfer to Auburn after the 2021 season, um, mother Andrea father, Chad Kessler played at Georgia from 83 to 87.

[00:02:52] He was a fifth round pick of the Clippers that year. Um, his uncle is the late Alec Kessler. Alec also [00:03:00] played at Georgia led the bull bulldogs to the 1990 sec championship. He was the ninth overall pick in the 1990 MBA drafted by the Houston rockets. He unfortunately passed away, um, back in 2007 at the age of 40, um, I think it was a heart attack playing pickup basketball.

[00:03:17] Um, so he definitely Walker Kessler definitely has, um, the basketball bloodlines, uh, really running through. And he’s playing on a fabulous Auburn tiger basketball team. Auburn is currently 24 and two ranked number two in both the coaches and AP poles. And, uh, Kessler is having a season two. Uh, remember at the moment through, through, uh, February 17th, the day that we are recording, he’s averaging 12 points.

[00:03:45] 8.4, rebounds 4.7 blocks per game. Not only does that lead division one college basketball, it is the highest average that I was able to find it since Northwestern states, William Mosley did it in 2011 [00:04:00] when he averaged 4.88. And if you’re looking for a comp from an NBA star, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis did it a year after that in 20 12, 4 0.62.

[00:04:09] So he is on a leaked territory right now with how well he is, uh, swatting, the basketball. Shoots the ball at a ridiculous 64% from the field, uh, 20% from three 66% from the free throw line in just 25 minutes per game. And Sage, the most ridiculous stat is this player efficiency rating is 33.7. The highest that have that we have measured since doing these future.

[00:04:37] Friday’s only chat Holmgren had eclipsed the 30 per mark. So what he is doing. This year is just second to none. He has two triple doubles already this year with blocks, which is just absolutely. And this particular game, he racked up the one of those triple doubles, 16 points, 10 rebounds, [00:05:00] 11 blocks, just two turnovers, just three personal files in 29 minutes of action.

[00:05:05] Uh, shot six of eight from the field. Even hit a three point shot, a three or four from the line. Uh, Plays basketball at a very high rate, very effective, very efficient. What was the first thing that stood out to you? When, when watching a Kessler in the sec opener against the LSU?

[00:05:26] Dillon Sage: I th I felt like Jabari Smith.

[00:05:29] Who’s probably the number one pick in the upcoming draft struggled because of the LSU defense. And that gave Walker Kessler. It was time for him to step up. Cause if you watch that game and it is one of the more, more bizarre games you’ve ever seen in a college basketball game with, uh, LSU not scoring a point for what seems like 15 real.

[00:05:53] LSU is one of the best defensive teams. Like at that time they were the number one ranked team. So they played Jabari [00:06:00] at the time as well. Oh yeah. They were there LSU at that time was a very good team. You know, Tara Euston who’s, uh, going to be a lot pick probably one of the worst games for us to look at.

[00:06:12] But you saw the skillset because he was on Jabari a lot. So it was time for Walker to CA uh, to step up and do. Ability to affect the game. A lot of different ways is just amazing because there’s guys that can get you shot blocks, but they’re like they lose all contain on defense Walker. Kessler gets the shop blocks makes those impact plays without it being some crazy like high risk, high reward type of action.

[00:06:45] Like again, mentioning tare. Probably at 99th percentile defender in this, uh, draft class, really great defender, but make some really bad mistakes on rotate. You don’t see that with Walker [00:07:00] Kessler. I just think that the full compliment of his game just is it’s just so effective in basketball to have a guy that can do all the things move well, defend.

[00:07:12] Well, he has the chance to be like a guy that can help on pick and rolls, help side blocks and post up defense. He has a chance to be a really, really great defender in this.

[00:07:23] Dustin: Yeah, the first, first couple of things. One, when I watch a true center, like not somebody who could play the four, the five, like somebody who, if you’re going to be on the floor, they have to be a center.

[00:07:33] The first thing I look at are their feet. How do they move? How do they run up the floor? Do they look like they’re laboring? Uh, are they taking big, giant, you know, honking steps? No, he was really smooth and, and agile and almost sleek, you know, running up and down the floor. He has a really good movement.

[00:07:50] Uh, you can tell that he. Has a great feel for the game. I was watching their game yesterday against Vanderbilt. And one of the announcers mentioned that, that their head [00:08:00] coach, Bruce Pearl said, he just knows how to land gracefully. Like he can kind of hang in the air just enough to where he’s able to fall down.

[00:08:07] And that is such an, it kind of like was a aha moment for me. Like the light bulb went off because you see so many bigs and they just don’t, they look. You know, giraffes up there and that they don’t know how they’re going to land. He just lands gracefully. He knows where he’s going to be. And I think that really, uh, is a Testament to how well he is able to play vertically.

[00:08:27] Like he gets great verticality. You can see that he doesn’t file a lot. And that is a huge problem for a lot of young, big, especially shot blockers. There. And he, he just knows that the time and place when to go after a block shot, I think there are a few other really positives to him as a prospect one, I think there is an elite level, uh, off-ball weak side, you know, shot blocker, and also, uh, man to man defense shot blocker as well.

[00:08:59] [00:09:00] And. He doesn’t chase blocks that would leave an opening for the defense. Yes. I’m talking about you Hassan Whiteside, Andre Germans. No, we have seen players like that in the league that our stat patterns and the stats look great, but sure you get a block on one end, but did you leave an opening for somebody else the next time around?

[00:09:22] So I feel like Kessler does a really good job of he, everything comes to him within the flow of the defense and when you have a player like that, it’s just going to make everyone one better. So I thought that was great, that he is able to, to move with. And play with it in the system. And you, you touched on his ability.

[00:09:43] To go out and guard the pick and roll. He does w with his length, he has really solved a close out potential, like, like chat, home, grin, and he’s just able to hold his own, um, again, in the game against [00:10:00] Vanderbilt. Got matched up quite a bit against that Scottie Pippin Jr. Who is probably going to be an NBA prospect as well.

[00:10:06] Who, what a good night. And he, you know, he got beat a couple of times, but I thought that was a good test for him. I don’t know if the LSU guards are going to be really think anything in comparison to what he’s going to see, you know, coming up in the, in the NCA tournament. Um, they didn’t run a lot of action like that, but you can just kind of tell by how he’s able to move.

[00:10:27] That you can get him out there in a couple of situations and you’re not going to be fearing for your life. Um, so I think there is, he has a lot of playability meaning he’s going to be able to stay on the floor regardless of what type of scheme or strategy or personnel exactly. That, that the opposition is going to throw out there.

[00:10:48] So I think that is such a big, positive for a true center, because a lot of true centers. You can only play them against, you know, certain schemes or certain personnel, but I feel like he is going [00:11:00] to be one of those rare bigs that no he’s going to play whatever you want to go up against. And he’s going

[00:11:06] to

[00:11:06] Dillon Sage: punish you.

[00:11:07] I mean, like you’re talking about switch ability, but how. There’s a very small list of centers that are able to show that type of switch ability. Like obviously the gold standard is bam out of bio and there’s no way in hell that we can compare Walker Kessler to bam out of bio. I mean, there’s like five inches of height difference as well, but it’s a very short list.

[00:11:33] Pro defenders that can do what Walker Gessler can do in the switching. And then like, it’s just a very rare commodity to see a seven foot, you know, however, heavy guy be able to have the ballerina feet to stop even bad guards on the LSU team. Cause I think. What he, what he can do for a real, uh, NBA [00:12:00] team just shows the value.

[00:12:02] And he’s not going to put up this gaudy or offensive stats because that’s just not who he is, but you know, defense is important. And I think there’s this bad connotation that, that needs to be like a five out offense. It absolutely. Doesn’t what I would like to see all burn run more. Is DHS involving Walker and pick and rolls using Walker as the screener, because honestly, I can’t really think of a many possessions were all burned, ran a pick and roll using Walker, just because the guards on.

[00:12:37] Auburn suck. So they’re not going to run, pick and rolls very often. They’re trying to get into their spots in the paint and hit a semi contested jumper. So I would love to see like what Walker Kassler can do as a screener, just because in the pros screens are 60, 70% of the offense. And I truly don’t know what Walker Kessler screens are.

[00:12:58] Like. I mean, I’m [00:13:00] sure they’re better than shit home grooms, but like, or Evan Mowgli’s, but I don’t know if it’s. Use of NERC its level or what? So that’s one thing that I would love to see with Walker in his, in his progression is to just see what he can do in that pick and roll off.

[00:13:15] Dustin: Yeah. And that’s probably going to have to come at the combine.

[00:13:17] Uh, you mentioned it Auburn’s guards have a little bit of tunnel vision. They like to go. One-on-one quite a bit, a little bit reckless when I’ve watched them. And I think if Auburn doesn’t bring that, that Natty home, um, On the Plains it’s going to be probably because they didn’t get good guard play in a game.

[00:13:35] And then they got sent home. Um, again, referencing the Vanderbilt game. They really had their way in the second half against a strong Vanderbilt squad because they ran the offense through Jabari Smith and they did run a couple of pick and rolls with Walker, Kessler, even throwing him a law pass. And so I put down, like, I think he does show really good rib running and lob lob catching potential.

[00:13:59] I [00:14:00] mean, he’s 71. Of course. Just throw it up there. I don’t think he’s, um, a Supreme athlete, but I think he’s a good enough athlete where. He’s going to make a defense pay if they want to, you know, double the ball handling or leave him free. Um, and I think he reminds me a lot of, um, Robin Lopez in the sense of his rebounding tactics.

[00:14:20] Like, I don’t think he’s a great rebounder, but I think he’s a good rebounder. He tends to box out his man and a couple others. So it leads, um, it leaves a lot of space open for his guards and his, uh, other, uh, To go and clean it up. So I think that’s, that will come with time. I think once it gets a little bit stronger, he’s going to be able to maybe be more aggressive, getting those rebounds.

[00:14:42] But as of right now, I think it’s a really good strategy for him because you have a tendency to see a lot of bigs who have a really good reach in length. Just kind of go over the top. And that’s how they pick up a lot of cheap fouls, but with his ability to. Just [00:15:00] box out that, that kind of minimizes that risk and allows, you know, guys like your body to go and grab those boards.

[00:15:05] Dillon Sage: Yeah. I’m, I’m sure that him boxing out is leaving to Jabari Smith, having those 10 plus rebound games and, and, and such, I think the biggest swing factor for a Walker Kessler is of course, that jump shot teams are going to be looking for it. I, I, I don’t think we’ll ever be in a, an average ambition. In the game verse LSU, I did see him hit a three.

[00:15:30] So I know that he has the ability to let me look, to see how many threes he’s taken this year. He has taken 46.

[00:15:41] Dustin: I believe the one that gets LSU is only as fifth, uh, connect. He had he’s

[00:15:45] Dillon Sage: eight for 40, currently from three, meaning he’s taken 40 threes, which is pretty impressive, like Chet homerooms taken 78.

[00:15:54] So the fact that. He’s at least taking threes. I think that [00:16:00] he’s kind of got that potential as a three-point shooter. He might take it and he probably will miss it, but at least he’s taking it, but I think that’s the biggest swing factor for him from being like a. A rotation player to a potential starting caliber center is just the ability to hit take and make some, some,

[00:16:22] Dustin: yeah, he’s got really, really good form on his shot.

[00:16:26] I think on the three he hit against LSU. It did take them a little bit to wind it up, but it’s really hard watching these college games and just looking at the statistics and saying, oh, he’s a good shooter. Or he’s not. Because of the flow of the game, like we talked about Auburn’s guards like to dominate the ball in a lot of the times.

[00:16:44] He’s surprised that he’s getting the ball. And so sometimes you’re like, oh, I haven’t shot in a while. Let’s let’s go out and put this one up. So I think he has the potential and he’s already shown a lot of growth from his freshman year, at North Carolina to his sophomore year at Auburn, [00:17:00] to where I have no doubt that he’s going to be a serviceable.

[00:17:04] Shooter. Like if you leave him open a little bit of space in the Vanderbilt game, he had a really nice, uh, you know, jump shot on the baseline, just quit catch and shoot. And the LSU game. He had a nice desk soft touch on the turnaround jumper. And if he does get a three point shot, doesn’t have to be a super quick release.

[00:17:21] Could just be standing. But just watch out because then you’re going to have to really have somebody pay attention to him on the defensive end of the floor while he’s, you know, operating you. Can’t just say, oh, we’re we only have to focus on four of their players and Walker, just make sure he doesn’t get a dunk.

[00:17:36] If he can spread the floor, really be a pick and pop pick and roll threat. Um, I think you’re going to be looking at a really solid player and what I mean by like a pick and pop. He doesn’t have to be, you know, someone who has a dead eye shooter, but if. But, but if he can turn into like Rick Smith’s bricks, MITs was a really great pick and pop a jump shooter for the Indiana.

[00:17:58] Pacers could also, you know, [00:18:00] dump it in low and get, get a bucket there, but it would just hit the mid range, extend, extend his range. I mean, we’re seeing players of his size, you know, do that more and more frequently. So it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility, but I still think there’s plenty of room for him.

[00:18:16] To grow. And do you know when I look at that, those what I call flashes of brilliance. When I, when I watch a player, I kind of want to be bowed. There were two moments that, that I saw that like, he was hoping and recovering off of a dribble drive. And then the LSU defender had a wide open dunk and he just erased it at the apex of the rim.

[00:18:34] And then shortly after. You know, he caught that, that three on the wing and just, you know, cashed it. And you could just see that, that emotion that came from him. Like if you get a big, that can do that on a consistent basis, you’re going to have a lot of teams wishing they would have taken him much earlier in the draft than letting him himself.

[00:18:52] With

[00:18:53] Dillon Sage: this draft season, there are a lot of competent, good big men like Mark Williams. And, uh, the [00:19:00] guy out of Arizona, there are some really skillful big men in this, in this, uh, in this draft, what it makes Walker Kessler better than those, uh, duke guys, Arizona guys. What makes him the, the premium center after jail?

[00:19:20] Dustin: I haven’t seen Jalen yet, so I can’t he’s next on my list to really scout. So that’ll be a TBD, but I like him. Better than Williams, better than a colloquium at Arizona because you’re seeing production consistently. And I think that’s something that I’m really starting to value is when you’re playing 25, 30 minutes a night and you’re a semiformal focal point.

[00:19:44] You should be producing. Um, and that, that’s why a guy like Chet Holmgren has really continued to rise on my draft four because you see the height and you see the skillset and you talk about the potential, but when potential meets production, that’s when you really start to get [00:20:00] excited. And that’s what’s happening with Walker Kessler.

[00:20:02] He was this, you know, number 24 overall prospect had a pretty disappointing year at North Carolina. Looked like he may have been a little bit overrated, but no, he’s living up to that Gatorade player of the year in Georgia status. Like he is living up to that first round pick hype and he’s really only getting better.

[00:20:22] His blocks, uh, this, this year, this calendar year have just skyrocketed. I mean, playing alongside Jabari, they just look like a perfect fit. And if you’re an NBA GM, you can say, okay, Jabari Smith is definitely the future. And Walker Kessler has maybe a traditional five, but man, they work really well together and so interchangeable.

[00:20:45] So I, I almost think that playing alongside Jabari has risen a Walker’s value because people can now see the vision of like, oh, this can work. It is working and it’s going to give the opposition, you know, [00:21:00] fits because now. You know, recently people were maybe going back to just like, oh, let’s go small.

[00:21:05] Let’s maybe go a smaller five. But if you get a big, like Kessler who was able to stretch the floor just a bit, but also just any elite level rim protector that, that changes things. I mean, you just look at the Utah jazz when, when Rudy go bare place and when he doesn’t play, like he, he is their team, uh, defensively.

[00:21:24] Like they, they go as he goes. So that’s why I have him. Higher. I mean, I, I really don’t love the opera and guards. I think Auburn is one of the top, top two teams, top three teams in the nation because of Kessler and because of Smith. And when you perform well and you show that you have a little bit more growth, then, you know, I just, that that’s what rises them above a notch.

[00:21:51] I think colloquia. Is in a similar situation where his guards aren’t super strong, but he hasn’t really shown much [00:22:00] authentic skillset other than put backs the production hasn’t been there in terms of, of the blocks. Um, and Mark Williams, I think is still, if I know he’s going to probably go pro to get that guaranteed money, I would love to see Mark Williams spend another year in college.

[00:22:16] Um, Kessler is a sophomore Williams is a freshmen. So, so there isn’t a small age gap there. Um, Maybe Williams would take that next, next leap, but I’m not seeing the production and the, the what I can project to the NBA level as much from Williams as I do from Kasler.

[00:22:33] Dillon Sage: I understand that. Um, I think Walker’s just a safer bet to be a.

[00:22:41] I think his floor’s just so much higher than a one thing that’s irritated me about cloaca is his hands kind of suck.

[00:22:49] Dustin: Like when you need him, you need hands and feet. If you’re a

[00:22:51] Dillon Sage: big, like, I think that Auburn is like the, the, the team of hands and feet because Jeff Ari, obviously we talked about it [00:23:00] on our first, uh, future Fridays is his hands and feet were the things that were like the most dominant about him offensively.

[00:23:07] At Walker, Kent doesn’t have that, but he has hands in terms of like walking shots and his feet are, are, are good in terms of a big man like that, that is the hands and feet bigs of the NCAA. I think the timing of Walker Kessler is immaculate too. Like his rotations are good. He’s just going to be a. NBA center.

[00:23:32] And, you know, there’s always that chance that cocoa could become something better, but the safety of what Walker Kessler can be in terms of his, of his floor is it’s gotta be tempting, especially when teams are really starting to, to, to be come that 48 minutes of competent basketball. I don’t, I don’t think Walter Kessler is going to come into the league and start NBA.

[00:23:57] Big man at the jump, he’s going [00:24:00] to have to take time to learn what this NBA game is like. So if a team has the foresight to say, Hey, this is at worst, he’s going to be a competent center off the bench to start, and then we can build them up to be something great. I mean, there’s a lot of value in what Walter Kessler can.

[00:24:20] Dustin: I think he could be a, an anchor of a team’s defense. Um, it was really hard coming up with, you know, comparisons for him because, you know, as we were talking off camera that there are really only so many, seven feet plus tall humans on this planet. And you narrow that down even more to those who play basketball there, there’s not a huge window of, you know, other prospects to kind of look at and say, yeah, that’s exactly who Walker Kesler reminds me of.

[00:24:48] So when I was looking at my, my floor, my middle and my, and my ceiling, I kind of had to just let go by maybe like, okay, maybe he has this type of career or he’s like this player, but with this added or [00:25:00] subtracted. So when, when you hear mine, Oh, he hasn’t played exactly like him. It’s just, I’ll have to, to explain it, but, um, what is your floor for a Walker Kessler?

[00:25:12] The

[00:25:12] Dillon Sage: Kansas center that played volleyball in the middle? Yeah, the D the, the feet and the hands and the patient. Jeff. It reminds me of Jeff with the, and you know, he was a second round center, but he got a second contract in the league was a productive center. I believe he was drafted by the blazers and then traded to new Orleans.

[00:25:35] He has a lot of the skillsets that may Jeff with the, an attractive center. I hope that his career is better than Jeff with these, but he did get that second contract. And, you know, as a second rounder, if you can get that second contract, that is a.

[00:25:50] Dustin: Yeah, with the, did pop into my mind as well. Um, I have this floor a little bit higher.

[00:25:55] I have it in terms of career. So I think you’ll have like a Mason Plumlee [00:26:00] type career where he could start. He could be a valuable person off of the bench. He’s going to be in the league for at least 10 years. I think he’s going to do a lot of things that are gonna help you win. Um, but he probably isn’t going to knock your socks off, but, but I think he can be a valuable piece on a winning team.

[00:26:19] Dillon Sage: I think that his middle is a seven foot version of Tillman because they both do a lot of things that help the team succeed. Obviously Xavier’s only six nine. And I think that the fact that he’s only six, nine is the reason he’s getting the DNP coach’s decisions. So having a guy that can do a lot of the things, obviously he’s not going to be the pastor.

[00:26:43] That exurbia is no, not many people are, but everything. He does is contributing to a victory for, for your team. So I I’m, I’m pretty, uh, I’m pretty sold on the Xavier Tillman comp, but I, I had a difficulty trying to [00:27:00] find out what its top end is. Yeah.

[00:27:02] Dustin: The middle end. The hardest for me. Um, and this is just more projecting that he does become a solid three point shooter.

[00:27:11] I think his middle could be something like a Brook Lopez on the bucks like Brooke Lopez on the nets had post moves for days. I don’t think that Kessler is going to have that nor do I think a team is going to bring him in to do that. You really only do that if you have Joel and beat or Nicole right now, but Lopez re.

[00:27:29] Invented his game somewhat in Milwaukee became more of a defensive threats and added that at three point shot. So in terms of impact, I could see him being Lopez on the bucks, especially when they were running one of the league’s best defenses. What was your top end?

[00:27:48] Dillon Sage: A starter, a starter for 10 plus years.

[00:27:50] I it’s tough to really narrow down what he could be. I mean, the shot is just a factor that, I mean, if he hits this [00:28:00] top end outcome, he is a legitimate center for 10 to 12 years in the league getting like a second and third contract. It was a tough one.

[00:28:09] Dustin: I think I’m a little bit more high on Kessler. And I think his draft positioning will.

[00:28:17] I think it depends on how he measures out of the combine. He is seven one, just like Rudy, go Bair, go bears got that seven, nine wingspan. I wonder what, what walkers we’ll we’ll measure out at. But I, the things that you touched on the anticipation, the timing, those are things you can’t really teach. Like he just knows like a great rebounder knows where to be.

[00:28:40] He knows where to be when. Blocking a shot. And that’s really tough to try and, you know, school someone on, or have them grow into, grow into that as a player either, you know it or you don’t. And as we mentioned earlier, he kind of has this, you know, DNA basketball DNA. I think if he [00:29:00] hits and this is like the 99th percentile, I think you’re looking at a Rudy go Bair who has a little bit more lateral quickness that could play on the perimeter.

[00:29:07] So a little bit more defensive. Again, we’re talking ceiling, but these block numbers that he is getting in college are something that, that you just haven’t really seen in quite a long time. So that’s where I feel he could hit. Um, right now take a fountain has him at 23. And I just feel like if anybody takes him after 15, they’re getting an absolute steal.

[00:29:33] Like you don’t have to hit a home run. Every time you pick them the first round Sage, like, like we’ve talked about, if you can get someone that’s going to be a starter for multiple years, that’s, that’s an easy win. So, you know, if, if he slips because people might be cooling on centers a bit, whatever team is smart enough to see what he can do instead of what he can’t do.

[00:29:54] I think they’re going to be, uh, looking back at the 20, 22 draft and saying we knew something that a lot of others didn’t.[00:30:00]

[00:30:04] Dillon Sage: I don’t see the GRU to go bare confidence. I see a legitimately good center in the league that, uh, could contribute to a lot of teams. Um, honestly the person that excites me the most in that game, um, obviously Jabari’s just a superstar, but I really, really like Tari he’s and it’s tough because he’s so misutilized with the LSU tigers currently.

[00:30:34] We were really nice about it, but the guards suck. So he’s been, he’s been thrusted to a position he’s not in the pros or in any level of basketball. He’s not going to be the highest usage rate player on the team. So when, when you look at, um, at LSU, he’s just like, but in the pros, I think that he is a four that has amazing defensive potential.[00:31:00]

[00:31:00] Can attack close outs hit an open three, cause he is a 35% shooter and place. Like I think defensively, if we can get a target Eastern, he would be the missing piece for us going from like a, a bottom 10 to a top 10 because of what he can do off ball and on ball. Like again, Ellis, this LSU game. Awful for.

[00:31:26] I think he, he, he, he struggled with every aspect other than like defense a little bit on Jabari. Cause he probably took a lot of bad shots and that LSU or offense was just so mismanaged because they players are running into the spots that were already established. So he couldn’t shoot. So he’s just. Um, but I think that what he can do and I would love to do more tar east and take, but what he is currently in my eyes, and it’s hard to see because of LSU issues.

[00:31:58] Deficiencies is a four [00:32:00] that has a lot of, uh, utility in the defense and especially in perimeter defense at six eight, but he can, he can slide his feet and play some really great defense on, on opposing guards. So. Hopefully in the future, we do some more target Eastern, but for me, Eastern is like, I have them above, above Marie Keegan.

[00:32:23] Marie, I have him above Matheran. He’s like a legitimate, uh, tier three athlete, tier three player for me right now. Um, so, and then Jabari is just so, so damn good, but Eastern, just, if you look past what he does at LSU, because he had. He is a fantastic, fantastic player.

[00:32:45] Dustin: Yeah, I’ll have to watch more of ESN because in that game, I was wondering if he was even going to play, he didn’t start, which I thought was extremely odd for somebody who was predicted to be a lottery pick.

[00:32:57] And then he got in the game and he had a really nice coast [00:33:00] to coast. And then he had one where he just kind of ran over somebody and it was just a really sloppy game for LSU. So it was, it was, I can’t really make any assumptions over one game. Like I said he didn’t, he didn’t jump off the page to me at all.

[00:33:14] So I’ll need to go back and watch more of him. And also it’s for me when I go into a game and I’m trying to like, watch. Like I was primarily focused on Kessler. I’ve seen so much of Jabari Smith. Like you kind of know what you’re going to get there. So I was really just focusing on him. And then when they were all off of the floor, then that was the kind of like watching tare.

[00:33:35] But that LSU team is just really rough. And it’s hard to project onto the league because, you know, you’re just watching one college game. So I’ll reserve judgment and we’ll watch more and we’ll go more in depth on him.

[00:33:49] Dillon Sage: Um, I think his floor’s Schumer Kiki, I think his medium is. Demari Carol slash uh, J Crowder.

[00:33:58] And then if he tops, if [00:34:00] he actually shows the play-making chops, you know, it’s crazy. I’m looking at his statistics and like the top end talent, his Victrola depo, but it’s like, he’s six, eight. He’s the, it’s not the same, but what he’s doing at LSU is like really similar to Victrola Depot. But I think that he’s one of those fours that plays defund shoots, and he has just top tier athletics.

[00:34:24] So, yeah, Eastern or somebody that I definitely want to keep a track on. I mean, it’s hard with teams like LSU and Memphis. We’re going to talk about soon because they don’t have like a complete team. It’s it’s it’s Tara ease-in it’s Jalen grant. Like a lot of teams need that point guard to make them look better.

[00:34:45] Like Chris Paul is making Busmat combo look competitive and good. A good point guard. Blah, blah players into legitimate talents. So if like, if Darren had like a, I [00:35:00] don’t know, just like a legitimate point guard, he would look so much better. And I think the same for Easton, because right now Easton has a higher usage rate than Vic.

[00:35:11] Um, like he has a point guard, legitimate use. If his NBA roll is four, man that can do. And play defense and hit threes, him being the lead Playmaker. Relisha was just a weird, weird touch, but you know what college teams aren’t, you know, they don’t have the talent that pros do. So it’s hard to really project him forward it seeing his current role.

[00:35:39] How did you feel about your Bari Smith in this game? LSU defense was legitimately tough.

[00:35:47] Dustin: It’s really hard for Jabari because every time down the floor, he should be touching the ball. They should be running some sort of action for him, whether it’s getting him the ball at the elbow. So we can face up in the triple threat, whether it’s a pick and pop for the three [00:36:00] screen and roll it just, it didn’t happen.

[00:36:04] Katie Johnson. And I think what is it? Window brown or window more? Um, or gray or green. Excuse me, window. They just love going. By themselves and just throwing it up. It’s really hard for bigs and college to, to get into a rhythm. And as I mentioned, I was watching the Vanderbilt game yesterday and they actually just, Jabari’s like, no, give me the ball.

[00:36:30] This is what we’re going to do. And he just, just took over the game and, and they looked so much more complete when he was the focal point, rather than their guards, just going one on five and just trying to play, make on the fly. So. I typically will give a, if I see a really polished big in, in college, and if they have a bad game, I typically give them the benefit of the doubt.

[00:36:53] Because especially in college, you need somebody to set you up. I mean, bigs in general, and you need players to set [00:37:00] them up. But I just kinda felt like that game was, it was a weird pace. It started off extremely weird. Um, lot of turnovers, a lot of fouls, uh, Auburn got off to that really quick start. And then LSU kind of crept back then Auburn kinda took the momentum back away from them.

[00:37:19] So again, it’s hard to judge. So if you just look at the box four, you’re not super blown away to have eight from three, you know, five of 12 are all from the field, but you still see those flashes. That’s like, oh, if he plays in a good system, this is what you’re going to get more consistently. So that’s where it’s really good to watch the games instead of just looking at the box score, because you can see.

[00:37:39] How he’s getting those shots or are they coming late in the office? Difficult

[00:37:43] Dillon Sage: threes over high, condensed hands. Like I remember the three on Eastern where he was playing like legitimately great defense and he just green the three in his face. Like there’s not much more that the LSU could do to make him, like, [00:38:00] I don’t think many college teams can defend him like LSU did, but to see that he could have.

[00:38:06] At certain times get free or shoot over the defender showed a lot of like, okay, this guy could be a superstar. Um, but yeah, like if we showed this game of Jabari Smith first, I think a lot of people would have a lot of different, uh, expect expectations on them. Cause this was definitely one of his worst college games because of.

[00:38:35] at this time, two top tier teams, splaying. So, um, yeah. Uh, do you have anything else you want to talk about in this game, or I think we w we talked about the three prospects that really needed to be talked about.

[00:38:51] Dustin: Yup. Um, we will, could be coming at you next Friday. I think prospect TBD as we. Get closer and closer to the [00:39:00] draft.

[00:39:00] The amount of Fridays are limited. So we’ll probably do a lot of March madness stuff because hopefully these teams are playing with one another. So we only have actually a few more Fridays left until madness begins. So we’ll be really picky with the prospects that we feature. I think a couple of names to look out for Jalen Duran from Memphis, uh, Keith and Marie from Iowa, Patrick Baldwin from Milwaukee.

[00:39:21] Um, there’s Ty Washington from Kentucky. Um, there’s, there’s a ton of other prospects, um, in Portland’s projected range that need to be covered even tar ease-in, maybe in more, um, in depth. So we’ll have a couple of more of those before the madness begins and then post madness, we’ll be doing some more in depth because hopefully we’ll know.

[00:39:44] Uh, exactly where the picks will be landing. We can kind of, uh, hone in and also give updates. I mean, as I mentioned, last episode, Benedick Mather and has been on a heater, uh, Johnny Davis, uh, for Wisconsin put on an absolute clinic in Bloomington [00:40:00] against, uh, Indiana Hoosier showing. A lot more depth to his game offensively than I thought he originally had.

[00:40:07] And it’s really cemented himself as one of my top four players on the board. So players are getting better. That’s the,

[00:40:15] Dillon Sage: you forgot to mention Jayden Ivy.

[00:40:18] Dustin: Oh, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve already been high on J at

[00:40:20] Dillon Sage: night, but you know that a way into top three for me, like

[00:40:24] Dustin: it’s already top three where you been like.

[00:40:28] Dillon Sage: The dribbling is real.

[00:40:29] I remember when we talked about him in week four, I think like the dribbling looked okay now the dribbling is like, he’s, he’s improving every game. They don’t give them the pick and roll reps that I would like, but he in games that they do against good players, it’s looking great. He’s special. Like. If he could shoot a little bit better, he might be number one for me.

[00:40:58] He’s just not, he’s just not that. [00:41:00] So, but if the blazers get lucky, I would have no problem taking him at two. There could be arguments that taking him at one, I would treat, um, Jabari Chet, Jalen Paulo.

[00:41:23] It’s between Johnny Davis and AAJ. Um,

[00:41:29] Dustin: I think they’re tied, I’ve gotten Jabari Smith chat home, grin, Jaden, Ivy, Johnny Davis in Paolo buncher.

[00:41:39] Dillon Sage: Nice. All right. So we’ll probably next week. We’ll probably talk about Memphis and not looking forward to that at all, because that is one of the worst teams to watch.

[00:41:50] Hopefully Matthew loves ball is still a thing. When we decided to watch games, rest in peace to travel MADEC we are out of here cl[00:42:00] .

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